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Insider Only Penguins – Bruins Takeaways: Matt Murray is changing the Outlook; McCann’s Impact Continues & Scouts Buzz on Phil Kessel

Matt Murray is back to playing at a franchise goaltender level

The Pittsburgh Penguins snapped the Boston Bruins 19 game unbeaten streak with a 4-2 win Sunday night at the PPG Paints Arena. Matt Murray was again sensational in turning aside 39 of 41 shots. Murray’s play of late has started to change the outlook of this team.

Sidney Crosby has showed over the last little while there’s no way he’s going to let this group miss the playoffs but the Murray dynamic always looms of how dangerous of a foe the Penguins can be or won’t be.

When Murray is playing like this and looking identical to the goaltender that backstopped the Penguins to back-to-back Titles in 2016 and 2017, you start looking at the Penguins a little bit different.

Really since the outdoor game against Philadelphia, the group has started to simplify their game for the better from the d-zone on out and they reaped the benefits again Sunday night against a fast attacking Bruins team. Simple is better with this team and the hope has to be that it continues from here on out.

Pittsburgh tilted the ice for the first period, putting together a dominant period and taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Nick Blugstad and Jared McCann. Boston came right back with a dominant second period of their own, got within one on a David Krejci power play goal, and when the Penguins are at their best they find a way to regain momentum when things are starting to unravel.

They did it late in the second period with Teddy Blueger drawing a tripping penalty and Jake Guentzel delivered a crushing power play for his 34th of the season at 16:32 of the second period. With how dominant Murray was playing, that was the game.

Pittsburgh got a similar type of goal late in the second period vs the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night from Nick Blugstad that also pretty much put the game away when you’re getting the type of goaltending the Penguins are getting from Matt Murray right now.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

— What were the Panthers thinking in throwing Jared McCann into the Blugstad deal?

For a low budget non-playoff team, Florida putting a young cost controlled forward like McCann into the deal just so they can move Blugstad’s contract without any pushback was always a head-scratcher. There’s always a way to take advantage of teams ran like the Panthers when they’re looking to move salary and Pittsburgh took full advantage.

So the Panthers basically replaced a 22 year old Jared McCann with Riley Sheahan who they plan to resign…..That’s why they are the Florida Panthers……

Penguin scouts were very high on McCann coming into the 2014 draft and they saw great upside as a defensive minded shutdown center down the line.

The team also saw some upside offensive they could tap into.

It became clear, though, very early into McCann’s tenure as a Penguin, he’s suited as a winger and his offensive game has taken off since he’s become a full-time winger. McCann has some Carl Hagelin capabilities with the instincts to track loose pucks which are near an elite level. Some Penguin officials also see a young C Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


— What are scouts saying of Phil Kessel?

5-on-5 ‘The game is starting Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"


About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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